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Tom UniackTom Uniack
Executive Director

Tom joined Washington Wild in 2003 after graduating from the Master’s program at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. For 13 years he served as Washington Wild’s Conservation Director and in early 2016 was named Executive Director. His leadership role within a core group of both local and regional Wilderness advocates has significantly advanced the protection and restoration of Washington’s wild land and waters. This notably includes successful passage of the Wild Sky Wilderness Act (2008) and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions Act (2014).

Tom’s role as Executive Director has been carefully structured to combine organizational and mission leadership. His ability and passion to lead both Washington Wild and the conservation community will ensure continued success in protecting wild lands and waters in the beautiful state of Washington, now and for future generations.

Prior to grad school, Tom was with Defenders of Wildlife for seven years in Washington, D.C. where he worked on a range of issues from Arctic wilderness to preserving Florida black bears. Tom and his wife, Stephanie, are the proud parents of son Luke, and twins Charlize and Sierra.

Susan Melrose, Courtesy of Susan Melrose
Susan Melrose
Deputy Director

Susan joined Washington Wild in July 2016, though this was actually a return to the organization since she served as a program manager from 2000 to 2002. Having focused her career in nonprofits, Susan has worked on a variety of issues including shoreline conservation, the Hanford Site, community building and of course, Wilderness protection. For the previous nine years, Susan served as the Executive Director of a small, community focused organization in her neighborhood of West Seattle.

Happy to combine her passion of environmental conservation with skills in nonprofit administration, Susan is well suited to serve as Washington Wild’s Deputy Director. Susan holds a degree in International Relations and Environmental Issues from California State University, Chico. She enjoys mountain biking, hiking and spending time exploring new places with her family.   

Ariel WestAriel West
Program Manager

Ariel joined Washington Wild in February 2016. She is a current graduate student at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and received her B.A. in International Relations and Asian Studies at the University of Michigan. After finishing her undergraduate in 2013 she spent a year teaching English in Shenzhen, China. During her time there she witnessed the implications of poor environmental management in the atrocious air quality and severe degradation of the natural world in China. After moving to Seattle, the passion and commitment of the communities inspired her to work for better protection of the environment. She has experience working with conservation non-profits in the Seattle area and has prior experience working in education and international development. In her free time she enjoys hiking, backpacking and exploring the beautiful landscapes of Washington State.

Jennie Scheerer
Membership and Engagement Manager

Jennie joined Washington Wild in November 2017. She is new to Seattle, relocating from Chicago, where she worked with the non-profit arm of the city park district. Jennie is passionate about community empowerment, specifically surrounding environmental issues, and believes access to natural areas is essential to a healthy lifestyle. She also brings strong skills in digital engagement and storytelling to the Washington Wild team. 

Jennie is a graduate of Kalamazoo College with a B.A. in Human Development and Social Relations and a concentration in Media Studies. In her free time she enjoys hiking, skiing, taking photos and videos, and exploring the PNW.


Jordan French
Membership and Events Coordinator

Jordan joined Washington Wild in June 2017. She has lived in Washington her entire life, growing up in Olympia and relocating to Seattle for school. She is currently a second-year graduate student at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance where she is focusing on environmental policy. She received her B.A. at the University of Washington in Political Economy, with a minor in International Studies. While an undergraduate, she had the opportunity to be on the cheer/dance team at UW—giving her the chance to travel the US and the world.

When deciding on which graduate school to attend, Jordan decided to stay in Seattle due to its beautiful landscapes, great hikes, and overall environmental activism. In her free time, she coaches cheer/dance, hikes, does hot yoga, and enjoys taking walks around different parts of Washington.